3D Mammography Explained
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center
Carolyn G. Dudley, MD Carolyn G. Dudley, MD

Exciting News: Medicare Now Covers 3D Mammography

The American Cancer Society says that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman's chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.1

3D mammography is an advanced, clinically proven screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection.

With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of the breast in one image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of an abnormal area, or hide a small cancer.

During the 3D mammogram, the X-ray arm sweeps over the breast taking multiple low dose images. Then, a computer produces a 3D image in one millimeter slices, decreasing tissue overlap. With the new C-View™ software, the 3D data is used to create the 2D images, eliminating the need for an additional X-ray exposure.

Researchers are finding that Hologic breast tomosynthesis combined with 2D mammography provides:

  • Greater than 25 percent improvement in overall cancer detection rates, finding 40 percent more invasive cancers than conventional 2D mammography alone.3-5
  • Better visualization of masses, distortions and asymmetric densities.6
  • Significant reduction in recall rates by up to 40 percent. 5,7
  • Lower dose and faster 3D mammography through C-View™ software, which uses 3D data to create 2D images, eliminating the 2D X-ray exposure and shorting the exam scan time.



What should I expect during the 3D mammography screening exam?

3D mammography is performed at the same time as the 2D mammogram with the same system. There is no additional compression required and the exam time may be just about the same or shorter than a 2D exam.

Is there more radiation dose?

With the lower dose 3D mammography, very low X-ray energy is used during the exam, just about the same as a standard 2D digital mammogram, and lower than a traditional film mammogram.

Who can have a 3D mammogram exam?

It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings.

MammogramWhat is the difference between a screening and a diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year. Sometimes the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, called a diagnostic mammogram, to rule out an unclear area in the breast or if there is a breast complaint that needs to be evaluated. Diagnostic mammogram focuses on the area of abnormality or the area of complaint. It is important to have the original images available if you go to a different facility for your follow-up exam.
Please call Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center at (404) 252-3430 to schedule your lower dose 3D mammogram.



1 Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011, American Cancer Society. 2 Rafferty E, Park J, Philpotts L, et al. "Assessing Radiologist Performance Using Combined Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis Compared with Digital Mammography Alone: Results of a Multicenter, Multireader Trial." Radiology. 2013 Jan; 266(1):104-13. Epub 2012 Nov 20. 3 Skaane P, Bandos A, Gullien R, et al. "Comparison of Digital Mammography Alone and Digital Mammography Plus Tomosynthesis in a Population-based Screening Program." Radiology. 2013 Apr; 267(1):47-56. Epub 2013 Jan 7. 4 Ciatto S, Houssami N, Bernardi D, et al. "Integration of 3D Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis for Population Breast-Cancer Screening (STORM): A Prospective Comparison Study" The Lancet Oncology. Epub 2013 Apr 25. 5 Rose S, Tidwell A, Bujnock L, et al. "Implementation of Breast Tomosynthesis in a Routine Screening Practice: An Observational Study." American Journal of Roentengenology. 2013 Jun; 200(6): 1401-1408. Epub 2013 May 22. 6 Zuley M, Bandos A, Ganott M, et al. "Digital Breast Tomosynthesis versus Supplemental Diagnostic Mammographic Views for Evaluation of Noncalcified Breast Lesions." Radiology. 2013 Jan; 266(1):89-95. Epub 2012 Nov 9. 7 Conant E, Gavenonis S, Weinstein S, et al. "Early Implementation of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis: Comparison of Call-back and Cancer Detection Rates in a Clinical Screening Practice." (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Chicago, Il, November 2012).


Carolyn G. Dudley, MD
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center

Carolyn G. Dudley has over 30 years' experience in breast imaging. She attended Bryn Mawr College, Howard University and completed her Diagnostic Radiology residency at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. She is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society.

Dr. Dudley was one of the pioneers in developing techniques to diagnose breast cancer utilizing MRI. Presently, she has a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia where she offers patients a wide range of outpatient diagnostic services in a convenient and patient-friendly environment. Her practice is the first non-hospital facility in Georgia to offer the latest advancement in mammography: 3D Mammography (breast tomosynthesis). In addition, Dr. Dudley provides 2D Digital Mammography, bone densitometry and ultrasound utilizing the most up-to-date technology available.